Weidlinger Hosts Hackathon to Inspire Innovation, Team Building

Focus on improving, developing new technical products and improving the efficiency of current practices

New York, NY, March 13, 2015 --(PR.com)-- Weidlinger Associates, Inc., held a 26-hour “technical sprint” to jump start innovation and enable pursuit of passion in specific interest areas as part of its inaugural Hackathon event held on February 27-28.

The 2015 Hackathon was conceived and planned by Brett Benowitz, Ph.D., and Badri Hiriyur, Ph.D., of the Applied Science and Investigations business unit based in New York City. Their initiative enabled Hackathon participants to take the lead on new and exciting projects, while benefiting from an organic team-building experience.

The Hackathon environment, which is defined by uninterrupted time to focus on creative developments, was conducive to realizing “pie-in-the-sky” ideas, and served as a catalyst for further pursuit of innovation within the ranks of the company.

The event, held at the firm’s headquarters at 40 Wall Street, started at 3 p.m. on Friday, February 27, 2015, and continued through 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 28, 2015, with miscellaneous naps, food breaks, and exclamations of frustration and success. Conceived and executed by employees, the 2015 Hackathon was strongly supported by Weidlinger’s management and included participation in five offices: New York City; Washington, DC; Boston; Mountain View, CA; and Dalgety Bay, Scotland.

Raymond P. Daddazio, Weidlinger President and CEO, was on location during the entire Hackathon event, observing and providing moral support. “This event was a great demonstration of the fact that innovation and entrepreneurship have always been at Weidlinger’s core,” said Daddazio. The projects that participants worked on included validation experiments for existing software tools; porting an existing software app to a web-based cloud application; developing software to increase efficiency in Revit drawing management for large projects; development of the BDX framework, for unified model development; development of BMT, a set of Blast Management Tools, for increased efficiency in blast design; a front-end GUI to manage the entire analysis workflow for EPSA, one of Weidlinger’s in-house proprietary finite element codes; and a reorganization and redevelopment of Weidlinger’s internal, centralized Digital Library.

Peter McDonald, Ph.D., and Chris Stirling, Ph.D., who are based in the Dalgety Bay office, explained, “For us, the Hackathon demonstrated Weidlinger’s commitment to innovation across all business groups. It was particularly encouraging to see the level of support and enthusiasm demonstrated for this.”

Scott Wood, P.E., an engineer based in the Washington office, said, “The Hackathon presented a unique opportunity to collaborate with co-workers on a project outside of hierarchal corporate structure, which was both refreshing and exciting.”

Michael Kero, an engineer in the New York office, who was still writing code at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning, noted that “The weekend brought out the best in everyone in an effort to move various barely-realized ideas to the next step. The Hackathon has certainly shaped the direction of this firm for months to come and we are all looking forward to the next one.”

Upon seeing the recap of the Hackathon on March 3, 2015, Peter DiMaggio, Principal, stated, “This is amazing to me! This is so much work done in so little time.” Benowitz and Hiriyur are already pooling ideas for the next Hackathon.

Weidlinger Associates, Inc., is a structural engineering firm that designs and rehabilitates buildings, bridges, and infrastructure and provides special services in applied science, forensics, and physical security. The firm, which employs about 275 full-time staff, celebrated its 65th year in 2014. It is recognized worldwide for its innovative and practical design solutions and for its long-term commitment to advancing the state of the art in engineering. Headquartered in New York City, the firm has branch offices in the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, please see www.wai.com.
Weidlinger Associates, Inc.
Jaime Strohmenger, LAK Public Relations, Inc.
Mollie Fullington, mfullington@lakpr.com